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Juicy Smoked Pulled Pork

This smoky, juicy pulled pork in all it’s glory is great for big or small gatherings, is great for leftovers and freezes well. After trying several methods of smoking a pork shoulder, this is my new favorite.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 7 Cups
Author: Stacey Mincoff


What you'll need:

  • Wood Chips for Smoking (I used cherry this time)
  • BBQ Sauce of Choice (optional)
  • 4 Pound Pork Shoulder (also known as pork butt)


  • 1/4 Cups Kosher Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper ground
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Cloves Fresh Garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 3/4 Cups yellow onion chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice about 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1/4 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Enough water to cover it all


  • 2 1/4 Teaspoons Cumin
  • 2 1/4 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 1/2 Teaspoons Oregano
  • 2 1/2 Teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper


  • Mix all brine ingredients (except for water) in a large bag, bowl or pot that will hold all ingredients. Cover with water, stir it up a bit, seal the pot or bowl and refrigerate over night (or 6-8 hours).
    pork shoulder brind
  • Bring pork shoulder up to room temperature (optional). Pat the pork shoulder dry. Combine all rub ingredients, and rub all over pork shoulder.
    dry rub on pork shoulder
  • Preheat smoker to 250°F.
  • Soak would chips for 1/2 - 1 hour.
    wood chips for smoking pork
  • Place pork fat side up on rack in smoker, place temperature probe in pork (if you have one) and close the door. Do not put an instant read probe in the smoker if it can’t withstand the heat. I have a probe with a cable that connects to the digital reader outside the smoker. A probe is really handy so you don’t have to open the door and let heat and smoke out. It will take at least 1- 1.5 hours per pound. Add wood chips when you don’t see anymore smoke coming out of the smoker. A small amount goes a long way. Smoke until internal temperature reaches 195°F.
    smoking pork shoulder
  • Remove from smoker and let rest until cool enough to handle, then start pulling it apart with two forks. Another option is to just slice and chop it up. Place all this in a oven safe pan, add your favorite BBQ sauce, pork jello, chicken stock and/or water, cover and heat in the oven at 250°F for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This last step is optional, but don’t add so much liquid that it’s too wet, it’s just to add some more flavor and a little extra moisture. You can totally skip it if you want.
    Pulling smoked pork shoulder
  • Now eat it as is, make a sandwich, a street taco, enchiladas or whatever else you can dream up.
    smoked pulled pork tacos